Photo-sharing site Instagram has reportedly been blocked in China following pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong. Reuters suggests that this has happened due to protestors uploading pictures of police firing tear gas to disperse the crowd. The pictures mainly carried the phrase “Occupy Central”, which has also been blocked on Chinese social network Weibo.
However, the Reuters report indicates that while the site could be blocked in mainland China, it is likely that those remaining in Hong Kong are still unaffected. Mostly due to the fact that the island is still outside the Great Firewall of China; which is used to block and screen much of the internet traffic that comes into the country.
Access to social media is greatly controlled in the communist lead country, with most communications also monitored or highly regulated. Recently, South Korean instant messaging services Line and Kakaotalk were blocked in the country on grounds of fighting terrorism, as the country claims that terrorists were using the services to share information and plan attacks.
Whether this is a temporary block is unknown, although it is likely that this is a short term measure by the Chinese government. Neither the Chinese nor Instagram has made an official statement about the matter.